We love the Platform series of talks at the National Theatre. They usually start at 6pm (though some start at 3pm), last an hour, cost a fiver, and you get to hear the actors, writers, translators, historians and directors who are working at the National talk about their work at the theatre and their careers in general. There’s plenty of time to ask questions and the talks usually have an air of informality and intimacy. If you’re going to see a play at the National, it’s always worth seeing if there is a Platform that you might enjoy on the same evening, and getting to the theatre an hour or so early to catch it. Some you can just turn up to, but it’s really worth booking for others, as they often sell out. We’ve just booked tickets to hear Rory Kinnear and Helen McCrory in conversation about the play they are both in, The Last of the Haussmans, which opens in June. We’ve heard Kinnear (who was last at the National playing a much acclaimed Hamlet) speak about his work before, and he is such a good speaker – honest, articulate, funny, self-effacing but also just so intelligent. We don’t doubt McCrory, one of the best actors of her generation, is more than his match. The other two platforms we’re dying to catch are with Simon Russell Beale and Christopher Ecclestone, both on later this summer and both at 3pm, but it’s worth looking at the whole programme, as its packed with potential delights.